In the 19th and 20th centuries, the first of May centered around honoring friendship. A Maypole, like the one above, illustrated the companionship between men and women. Men would cut down a tree for the pole and women would decorate it to be the center of the Spring festival. Friends would gather together around the Maypole and celebrate as they welcomed Spring.
Historically, friends were also celebrated with May Day baskets. May Day baskets were filled with fresh flowers, candies, sweet notes, and other treats. Traditionally, the basket giver would deliver the basket, knock on the door, and scamper away before the recipient answered.
Spring time and friendship have more in common than you think. They are both something not to be forced but occur naturally, and when they do, it is a lovely experience. Like a garden, a relationship takes time. Cultivating a garden requires constant attention, patience, and happiness.
We love the sentiment of these forgotten traditions. The simple joy of a festival or a basket is as sweet as the freshness of the Spring season. We wish that May Day would come more often. It can sometimes be easy to get caught up in the busyness of life, so the gentle reminder of Spring encourages us to slow down and reach out to those we care about.
If you want your friendships to blossom like a garden, invite a friend out for coffee, host a wine and cheese night, write a note of encouragement, start a bookclub, or offer to make dinner for a neighbor. These small acts are ways to cultivate those important relationships. Everyone loves when they are intentionally pursued.
With May Day just a few weeks away, we want to remind you that simple gestures go a long way with friends. Showing kindness does not have to be expensive or elaborate, and sometimes, the simpler the gesture, the greater the impact.